Over the past few weeks, students and schools across Canada have embarked on an exhilarating journey to compete for the prestigious title of "Canada's Most Informed Student and School". As the competition draws to a close, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners and participants who demonstrated exceptional dedication and enthusiasm.
Let's Talk Careers is a national competition that offers students a chance to win prizes and explore career and post-secondary opportunities. The competition involves a daily 10-question quiz, with 617,565 post-secondary and career web pages explored in this spring’s competition period of April 17 to May 26, 2023. Students discovered 451 different career paths, highlighting the competition's impact. This initiative supports the Canadian economy by promoting skilled trades and addresses the need to hire 75,000 apprentices annually. Let's Talk Careers also develops soft skills among students and the upcoming fall season will bring even more opportunities for empowerment.
Let's Talk Careers is a national competition hosted twice a year by ChatterHigh in partnership with Let's Talk Science, Skills Canada, and Engineers Canada. This competition provides an exciting opportunity for students and schools to not only win prizes, but also gain valuable insights into career and post-secondary opportunities after high school. The competition revolves around a 10-question quiz, which students must answer daily to earn points for their personal leaderboards and contribute to the school-wide totals.
Let's Talk Careers goes beyond the typical classroom curriculum, fostering a spirit of exploration and discovery among high school students. By engaging in this competition, students can broaden their horizons, gain valuable information about different career options, and enhance their understanding of post-secondary education possibilities.
The spring season witnessed an awe-inspiring level of activity, with a staggering 617,565 post-secondary and career web pages explored. Each correct answer not only expanded student knowledge but also played a vital role in equipping them with the information needed to make informed decisions about their future. Let us delve into Let's Talk Careers' profound impact this spring.
A remarkable outcome of this competition is the discovery of 451 different career paths and 751 unique programs by middle and high school students across the country. This achievement showcases the power of Let's Talk Careers in increasing students' awareness of the vast array of possibilities that lie ahead for them. Moreover, it instills a sense of hope and ambition, inspiring students to dream big and pursue their aspirations.
The careers students explored through Let's Talk Careers this spring encompassed a wide range of fields. Among them, the top occupations of interest were: police officers, cooks, technical occupations in health, and graphic designers and illustrators, demonstrating the diversity and breadth of opportunities available for our students.
Let's Talk Careers, with its focus on STEM and skilled trades, plays a vital role in empowering students. By exposing students to a wide range of career options and highlighting the significance of STEM and skilled trades, this competition nurtures informed decision-making and supports the Canadian economy.
As businesses and organizations strive to innovate and expand in the modern world, the demand for skilled professionals in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields continues to grow. The Government of Canada, along with its partners, has developed a number of initiatives to engage and inspire young Canadians to pursue careers in STEM fields. Let’s Talk Careers competition is continuously working towards supporting the Canadian economy by encouraging and empowering students to explore and embrace STEM careers. In the spring season of Let’s Talk Careers, numerous students expressed a strong interest in fields such as biology, pre-medicine, architecture, and computer programming. These areas captured the imagination of participants and emerged as the top choices for their future programs.
As the Government of Canada continues to champion skilled trades as a first-choice career path, Let's Talk Careers serves as a valuable resource in shaping the future workforce and driving economic growth in Canada. It is particularly inspiring to note that many students expressed interest in skilled trade careers throughout the competition. This highlights the profound influence of Let's Talk Careers in promoting skilled trade careers and empowering students to envision themselves in every opportunity that awaits them in the future workforce.
The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum has identified a critical need to hire approximately 75,000 new apprentices annually over the next five years to address the growing demand for skilled workers in Red Seal trades. Several trades, including welding, industrial mechanics (millwright), bricklaying, boilermaking, cooking, and hairstyling, are particularly vulnerable and at risk of not meeting this demand. To address this issue, participating in Let's Talk Careers plays a vital role in increasing awareness among youth about the rewarding opportunities available in skilled trades. By raising awareness and promoting these careers, Let's Talk Careers contributes to the pipeline of future apprentices, thereby helping to bridge the gap between supply and demand in the skilled trades sector.
Let's Talk Careers goes beyond simply exposing students to different possibilities, it also fosters the development of essential soft skills that are vital for life beyond high school. Through engaging in research, seeking out correct answers, and building their knowledge base, students cultivate resilience and critical thinking abilities.
Additionally, the competition brings the school community together, fostering collaborative skills as students encourage and support one another while representing their schools. This collective goal of hitting the leaderboard and becoming more informed creates an environment of positive reinforcement and instills a heightened sense of pride and responsibility. To learn more about how competitions engage students and promote their growth, we encourage you to explore our previous blog “ Why Competitions Engage Students”.
As we celebrate the achievements of the winners and participants, we cannot overlook the invaluable contributions of our partners. Their support and collaboration have been instrumental in the success of Let's Talk Careers. As we prepare to present the competition once again in the fall, here are words of encouragement and congratulations for all the winners and participants from us and our partners:
Let’s Talk Science:
“Congratulations to all participants, educators, students, and communities for taking part in the Let's Talk Careers competition. It offers an important opportunity for youth to explore diverse career and postsecondary pathways, and we are confident that participants discovered some that they didn’t know even existed! Armed with this information, they will be better equipped to make decisions and prepare for their future.”
Dr. Bonnie Schmidt, President of Let’s Talk Science
“On behalf of Engineers Canada, I want to say congratulations to all the students who participated in the Let’s Talk Careers Spring Competition! We are proud to support a competition that allows students to learn about the range of possibilities available in the engineering world. Engineering is a profession that needs engaged, diverse, and creative young people to help design our future; we hope this competition inspires students to consider a career in engineering.”
Kim Bouffard, Manager, Belonging and Engagement, Engineers Canada
“Activities like Let’s Talk Careers, introduces youth to the endless career possibilities within skilled trades and technologies. By broadening their horizons, youth can seek more information on the careers that interest them and make informed decisions about their futures.”
Shaun Thorson, CEO of Skills/Compétences Canada.
“It is such a joy to see the level of school spirit and individual effort that occurs nationally in the Let’s Talk Careers competitions. Students work for 10 minutes each day, for 40 days, to make themselves aware of so many new careers and pathways that they hadn’t heard of before, while earning funds for their school and themselves! We know that their confidence level rises along with their awareness of opportunities that lie before them, helping them to make mindful decisions about their future.”
Lee Taal, CEO and Founder of ChatterHigh
Although the competition has come to a close, we can sustain the motivation and curiosity of our students by continuing to explore what’s possible. ChatterHigh offers a range of modules on Diversity and Inclusion, Mental Health and Wellness, Financial Literacy, Tax Literacy, and more. These modules provide students with an opportunity to delve deeper into topics that matter and expand their knowledge base.
In collaboration with industry associations and organizations, ChatterHigh offers a wide range of collaborative courses designed to empower students. Among the diverse array of Career and Pathway courses offered by ChatterHigh are Automotive Industry Pathways, Forestry Industry Pathways, Let's Explore Engineering, and Insurance Institute - Career Connections Courses. These courses are available nationally and serve as invaluable resources, allowing individuals to delve into specific industries and gain a deeper insight into various career possibilities and educational pathways.
As we bid farewell to the current season of Let's Talk Careers, we eagerly anticipate its return on October 30, 2023. We invite you to join us once again in this transformative initiative, empowering students and schools across Canada. Remember, it only takes one question at a time to ignite hope and kindle student interest in exploring the vast array of career possibilities that await them!